These days, it feels like just about everything looks better ombre’d, doesn’t it? From hair to clothing to decor, the trend has taken over every facet of the design world. Of course, we’re not complaining – we’ve fallen for the look along with the rest of you. So we thought it was due time that we added a dip dye style DIY to our discipline by creating ombre linens… only this craft actually doesn’t use dip dying to achieve the trendy look. Instead, we used spray bottles and artists watercolor, and the result is a lovely napkin that’s perfect for a springtime tabletop. Follow the jump for the easy instructions!

  1. Squeeze 2 to 3 drops of watercolor into the spray bottle and fill with water. If the solution is darker than you prefer, continue to pour out half the solution at a time and dilute with water until it’s to your satisfaction.
  2. Lay your linen out flat (we used a gauzy napkin).
  3. Begin spraying an organically-shaped form in a single color. While it’s still wet, begin spraying along edges with a second color so that the two blend. Play around with spraying several coats for darker shades. Continue to do so all around the cloth, leaving some white spaces throughout.
  4. Allow to dry. If touch-ups need to be made, repeat by spraying in desired areas and allowing to dry once again.

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Comments (49)
  1. 1
    Freya May 25, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Such a cool idea! And I agree, I think everything looks a bit better with a stain of color 🙂

  2. 2
    Karin May 25, 2012 at 7:24 am

    What a fun project. I bet you had lots of fun creating these!

  3. 3
    Alyssa May 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    These are gorgeous–what a fun project! They would be great for housewarming parties this summer

  4. 4
    Chelsea Jones May 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Lovely! One question… What happens when you wash them? Did you use a dye-set, or can you use one on watercolors?

  5. 5
    Kristie May 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Love this and think I’ll have to try! One question, will it wash out in the laundry??

  6. 6
    Jacqui May 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

    These are beautiful! Does the color stay after they’re washed though?

    • Camille Styles May 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      All good questions, ladies. 🙂 We’re going to give it a test run this weekend and will report back!! xx

      • Nicki June 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        Did the watercolor run or leave the fabric after you washed them…. I haven’t been able to see a reply. Thank you so much… Love, love your site.

  7. 7
    Kristina Gulino May 25, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Awesome!! I’d love to make some kelly green or yellow ones for summer outdoor dinner parties. You’re right, they’re just to pretty to pass up 🙂

    Nook & Sea

  8. 8
    allison { TAYLOR MOSELEY } May 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do this to drapes…:)

  9. 9
    Marina {} May 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

    LOVE this! Just pinned it. Oh and I have those wooden spoons too – so cute 🙂

  10. 10
    liz May 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Great DIY, love how they turned out 🙂

  11. 11
    Debra Kapellakis May 29, 2012 at 4:10 am

    very pretty

  12. 12
    Jenna May 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I think maybe this would work better in blue or green. In this red/pink, it just looks like a stained napkin. I have two smal kids so I already have loads that look like this!

    • Camille Styles May 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Ha! interesting… I love this combo, but I’d love to see pics of your blue or green version. Sounds gorgeous!

  13. 13
    Eleni | My Paradissi June 5, 2012 at 1:32 am

    So nice! And I love the shades you picked. I think I’ll be trying this one out =)

  14. 14
    how2home June 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    this is my first time visiting your blog and its so lovely! This post looks really fun and easy to make, it’d be great to have kids to be involved too. How is the napkin after its washed? Is it still the same or it’d be lighter?

  15. 15
    Dennise June 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    holy crap this is amazing! super simple too! can’t wait to try this! xoxo

  16. 16
    Janessa June 28, 2012 at 1:49 am

    I love it!

    But then my mum’s voice popped into my head, “Did I never teach you to never mix white with colours when you do the laundry?! You’ve just ruined a good piece of linen there. Tsk tsk.”

    Mothers. sigh.

  17. 17
    Dom July 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I’m trying to dye scarves so that they get the “watercolor” motif. I hadn’t considered spray bottles for color though. I’ll be practicing with actual fabric dye! Thanks for sharing.

    • Nicki June 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      Just wondering how you get the watercolor to stay…. when you wash it. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone talk about this or reply on the subject when asked. Do you know? Thank you so much.

  18. 18
    sadiemaesays July 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    So how did they do with washing?!

  19. 19
    elisabet July 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Yes, how did they go with the washing. want to do it myself but want to know if it works or not..

  20. 20
    MarieRose January 9, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Did the color wash out? I am trying to do this to a duvet cover to achieve the same look.

  21. 21
    jennyl February 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    These are gorgeous! Can you please update us on how they wash? THANK YOU!

  22. 22
    HarvestingLoveEvents July 16, 2013 at 6:50 pm


    I just tried these out and did a quick wash. I decided to hand wash it and the colors faded a tad bit after it. It still looks good though! Great tutorial!

  23. 23
    Lauren July 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Can you suggest of where to source the fabric or napkins that you used in this tutorial?

  24. 24
    Andrea Studebaker December 20, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I like these. There is a lot of room for creating your own style with this project. I have two questions:

    1) Does the fabric have to be linen, or can you use other materials?

    2) How do you keep the color from washing out when you launder the linens? I mean, it is watercolor.

    Thanks for a great idea!

  25. 25
    Agnethe April 21, 2016 at 5:36 am

    There’s one thing though, um when I have to wash these bed sheets, would the color dissapear or would they just float more into each other?

  26. 26
    Beth July 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Scrolled through all the comments but I don’t see a post containing the results of laundering the dyed napkins. Can anyone share what hsppened???? Thanks so much.



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